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17 January 2022

On January 1, 2022, amendments to the Hague System Common Regulations under the 1999 Act and the 1960 Act of the Hague Agreement came into force. These amendments apply to Rules 5, 17, 21 and 37.

Amendments to Rule 5 introduce common provisions on providing an interested party (i.e., applicants, holders, their representatives and Offices) with adequate relief if they failed to meet a time limit to perform an action before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) due to a force majeure event, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In such cases, applicants should notify WIPO about the reasons for their non-compliance with the time limits and take the necessary actions at the earliest possible time but no later than 6 months after the expiration of the prescribed period.

Amendments to Rule 17 extend the standard publication period under the international registration procedure from 6 to 12 months from the registration date. This amendment applies to all international applications filed on or after January 1, 2022. However, it is possible to request earlier publication at any time prior to the international registration publication. Please pay your attention to the amendments to Rule 37 concerning the transitional provision regarding publication periods: in accordance with these amendments, Rule 17 (effective up to January 1, 2022, concerning the 6-month standard publication period) can still apply to any international registration filed prior to the said date.

Amendments to Rule 21 simplifies the procedure of applying for a change in ownership for new owners. The amendments will enable WIPO to record the new owner as the holder of an international registration where the request is presented and signed by the new owner, if that request is accompanied by an assignment document or other document sufficient to provide evidence for the recording of the change.

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